Charities call for improved drug education in schools as hundreds of children are referred to specialist drug and alcohol services
Report says the cost of getting the local road network back into reasonable condition has soared to £12 billion.
Insurers are to make around £426 million worth of payouts for the destruction caused by severe flooding over Christmas and New Year.
You may have thought it as you were driving around the region but now it's official - the roads in the South are in the worst state of repair in the country. Potholes are the big problem, and it's estimated an extra 12 billion pounds is needed to repair them. Martin Stew reports.
– Christian Roth, Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance
These extra carriages will provide significant improvements for passengers on some of our busiest services. We will be able to lengthen many peak trains from 8-carriages to 10-carriages, providing extra space for our commuters. There has been a significant amount of work to do in bringing the carriages up to the standards we require for our passengers. We are pleased to now be pressing ahead with plans to introduce the first 10 carriages in mid-March.
South West Trains passengers will see the first additional train carriages being introduced onto their services next month to help provide extra capacity on the UK’s busiest commuter network.
A total of 108 extra carriages will be introduced over the next 12 months, with the first 10-car train being rolled out on the London Waterloo to Windsor line from mid March.
The additional carriages, representing an investment of £65 million, are set to provide capacity for an extra 23,000 peak time passengers every day.
The union TSSA say they have been concerned at the amount of work staff have been doing. But train operators say they have brought in extra staff to cope and they are not aware of any complaints from staff.
One call centre worker at the SWT call centre in Southampton told ITV News it "had been manic" since the start of the year but they were "rising to the challenge." He said staff had never seen anything like it but were doing all they could to answer calls and letters.
He said managers were not only supportive but helping all they could.
– Steven Stewart, Director of Communications at Stagecoach
Everyone across our business, in common with the emergency services and other agencies, is working extremely hard to deal with the impact of the storms and manage the associated higher level of contact from customers. We have more than tripled the number of staff who deal with customer relations over the past year and we have also recently taken on extra temporary staff to help with customer correspondence.
The recent bad weather has led to a flood of calls, emails and letters to train companies in the region as passengers ask for help about services, thank staff for doing all they can to help and claim compensation.
South West Trains, the biggest operator in Europe, say they have been inundated with passenger enquiries with four times the usual amount.
The company say staff are dealing with around 10,000 passengers a month when they would normally expect around 2,500.
So many are contacting the call centre at Southampton extra staff have been drafted in.
The Environment Agency says the whole of the south of England is at an "increased risk" of flooding today. The agency's flood risk manager, Kate Marks, said that as high tides and large waves threaten the south coast, further rain on already saturated ground could lead to river flooding.
– Kate Marks, Environment Agency
With further severe weather conditions expected in the coming days, the Environment Agency is likely to issue further warnings so people should check their flood risk and get early warnings so they can take action to protect their property."
More than 150 flood warnings and alerts remain in place in the Meridian region tonight with more heavy rain due this week. It could spell futher misery for the residents of a caravan park in Kent where fire crews rescued 26 people last night. Andy Dickenson has the story.
This is the scene at Little Venice Caravan Park in Yalding, Kent where 26 people were evacuated last night after severe flooding. It's the fourth time the park has been flooded this winter.